Another great thing about living in Botswana is that twice a year you get a double-up on public holidays, like this last weekend. Monday was Independence Day and Tuesday was also given as a public holiday. Take Friday as leave and you get 5 days to get away, which we did and headed to one of the most amazing places I have ever been too.
When we arrived in Botswana we were introduced to the Orapa Bush Club – a group of people that went on trips and had a get together once a month. At our first get together we got chatting with some people and when asked if we liked camping we said that we loved it and did it often.
We were then asked if we had a shower, camping refrigerator, etc – all of it we had to answer no to. So we were classed as “Sandton campers” (Sandton being an affluent area of Johannesburg). The Pilanesberg, Kruger National Park and other places, that had camp sites that were fenced in and had smart ablutions was not classed as camping by this crowd.
Over the past 2 years (well almost) that we have been here our camping equipment and set-up has grown substantially. All this, and ourselves, were being put to the test this last weekend. We did discover that not all our equipment was up to standard and that we are still missing some vital components.
We were going camping where one had to be totally self sustainable for the 5 days we were going to be there and we were going to be alone. So we hoped as little as possible would go wrong and we could not forget anything.
For the last two weeks we have been planning the trip. How much fuel do we need, how much water and even had to think about how many rolls of toilet paper do 3 people use in 5 days.
We had to get a roof rack made for our car to carry the supplies of fuel, water and firewood that we would need for this trip as nothing, nothing was available where we were going.
My biggest fear building up to the weekend was that we had all the equipment and supplies and that it would all last the weekend. Sue and Tristan were more concerned about the nights as lions, leopards and hyena are known to walk into camp.
I have been very fortunate during my life having been on many fantastic trips and seen amazing places, but this one rates up there has one of the best I have ever done. I won’t be dramatic and say it was “life changing” but it was definitely “life enriching”.
Finally all the shopping and packing was finished and Friday morning had come – it was now time to prove to ourselves that we weren’t “Sandton campers” anymore. We locked the house and set out for what was going to be a tough, but amazing experience in an incredible place.
“Getting there” to follow…..